As roots-based groups seem to fetishize analog recording in search of what "authentic" sounds like, Mt. Joy feels completely natural with their combination of Appalachian field recordings, '70s rock, and top 40 jams. Back in 2016, Mt. Joy smashed the Spotify play charts with "Astrovan," an instantly catchy single with bizarre lyrical imagery that's equal parts surreal, sad, and comical and seems to have been born from a few puffs of God's green herb. It's spacey with this Allman Bros. guitar twang channeled right out of their hits, along with Matt Quinn's doped-out vocals. Yet the production has all of today's modern flair without a hint of misguided nostalgia. Mt Joy's self-titled debut continues the style that's just as perfectly constructed as their first single. It shows off some good ol' fashioned songwriting prowess that's sorely missing from rock today. "I'm Your Wreck" opens the album with a heavy ballad and a vocal delivery reminiscent of early Bruce Springsteen. But the production is 100% today with a jangly, minimal style featuring muted drums, simple finger plucking, and acid alliteration. When the song starts to get into its funkier finale loaded with synths and more frenetic drumming, it almost takes a whole other route, becoming weird and beautiful at the same time. "Sheep" is one of the most beautiful tracks on the album and shows the influence of neo-soul with the Fender Rhodes providing gentle harmonies behind Quinn's powerful vocals. The song oozes with insecurity disguised by lyrics that start to delve into Bob Dylan level imagery and free association about being in disguise, bloody streets, and awkward encounters. Mt. Joy almost feels like a contemporary take on the post-folk artists of the '60s. Just like they used recognizable, comfortable sounds to reinvent the musical landscape, Mt. Joy spins roots and Americana into something special and relevant. In the age of over-produced, over-electronic music, Mt. Joy's homespun weirdness feels cozy and right.